Why does an appraiser need the GIA

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Nov 30, 2002
I thought the whole purpose of the appraisal is to check out its specs. With their expertise and examination, they should be able to determine the value etc. Macy's is asking for the GIA cert. Should I bring it?


Sep 3, 2000
Bring the cert with you. If the diamond is not mounted, I'd say play the game and have their "expert" grade the color and clarity on their own first. Have them measure the stone first, too.

Then, pull out the document and make a comparison. They will not likely be perfect, but there should be nbo issue with the identity of the diamond if the appraisers has done a pretty good job of color, clarity and measuring. The ought to be well prepared to address any discrepancies if they have arisen. That is how you can test the gemological skills of an appraiser.

There is no reason to be suspicious, but there is no reason to trust blindly, either. Put a good gemologist to the test and you will find out what happens. Then decide if they are trustworthy, well prepared or not the ones you want to do your appraisal work.

If you are not an expert yourself, you will have a very hard time knowing if any expert is doing the right job or not for you. It may take an expert to judge another expert's performance. A lay person can make a gut decision, but usually it is not based on their superior knowledge. A gut feeling is not to be totally ignored, but if you are unhappy with a result or an appraiser, it might be you and not the appraiser. Be sure to get to the truth before you totally make up your mind about these things. You will need a certain degree of patience.

Richard Sherwood

Sep 25, 2002
I agree with Dave. Correct grading should be largely reproducable between competent gemologists. When someone brings me a fine quality stone, I always ask them if it has a report from a major gem lab. If it does, I tell them "let me do my report first, then we'll see how they compare, and discuss any differences."

Then I give them an info sheet I've written entitled "Diamond Grading- Is It A Science?". It talks about how there can be minor discrepancies between labs and appraisers.

After we compare the two reports, I usually suggest we use the major lab's grading if it is GIA, AGS or HRD and differs from mine, unless I strenuously disagree with the grading (which doesn't happen very often). If the stone is accompanied with an IGI report, I use my own grading. If it's accompanied by an EGL report, I make a judgement call after weighing it's information carefully against my own.

Rich, GG
Sarasota Gemological Laboratory
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